Awakening by Christian Tafdrup ›› Awakening - En forelskelse

a mini-feature by Christian Tafdrup.

2008 | 39 mins | Denmark.

starring: Allan Hyde / Carsten, Julie Grundtvig Wester / Melissa, Lars Brygmann / Stig and Ellen Hillingsø as Birgitte; the mother.

Adapted Synopsis: "Sixteen-years-old and with his life ahead of him, Carsten's world revolves around his girlfriend Melissa. That is, until a weekend spent with her family at their summer house finds Carsten and Melissa's dad Stig sharing a passionate kiss, one that signals that the two have more in common, than what at first they thought."

Dave says:-

Okay, let's cut to the chase, in that the subject of a teenager's infatuation with his girlfriend's father and his return affection is somewhat controversial cinematic territory, to say the least. Not that gay cinema has not walked on contentious ground before. Yet such is the way in which this tale has been told, that the relationship between the two men forms but the narrative backdrop to the real story to be had; namely that of a young man's homosexual awakening and of a married man seemingly trapped in a lifestyle that he yearns to break free from.

In short, here we find director and actor Christian Tafdrup of Borgen fame deliver a sensitive and strictly "from the wait up" approach to the subject in hand, being only too aware of the acute age different between his pair of star-crossed lovers, with Allan Hyde of later True Blood credit giving a beautifully natural performance of a young man confused over his sexual orientation, yet ultimately honest to himself and to those around him.

Out hunting - but for what? in Awakening.

Out hunting - but for what? in Awakening.

Along the way he is backed by the solid work of Lars Brygmann, who delivers a wonderfully grounded performance of a man all too well aware of the gravity of the situation, to the point that the ending was never in any real doubt.

The boy doth protest too much in Awakening.

The boy doth protest too much in Awakening.

Intercut with a series of neat touches, including the all but anticipated scenes of emotional confrontation when love takes another path, this "mini-feature" in highlighting the developing friendship between two men of differing ages, separated not by way of their sexuality, but rather by social convention, does so with refreshing honesty and grace. Indeed the scene in which Carsten defends his man-to-man friendship with Stig to Melissa, is but a cue for "the boy doth protest too much." Say no more, other than it's definitely worth checking out; that is, if you can find it.

Gay Visibility - overt. 
Nudity - from the waist up. 
Overall - file under ... 3+ stars. 
Many thanks to Bill for putting this title, my way. Thank you :)
Copyright 2013 David Hall -
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